Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Retail has bought a 54 percent stake in domestic robotics company Addverb Tech for $ 132 million (about INR 983 crore).
Adverb Technologies co-founder and CEO Sangeet Kumar said the company would continue to operate independently. The funds from Reliance will be used to expand the business overseas and set up a large robot manufacturing plant in Noida.
The company already has a manufacturing plant in Noida, where it makes around 10,000 robots every year.
Kumar said, “With this investment, Reliance will have around 54 percent stake in Adverb. He has become the largest shareholder in the company. Reliance was already one of our esteemed customers with whom we built high-capacity automated warehouses for their grocery business, Jio Mart. Factors like convenience and trust were already there, which led to this association.”
The partnership will help leverage 5G
The strategic partnership with Reliance Retail will help us leverage 5G battery technology through new energy initiatives.
“We are a profitable company. We will use this money to expand abroad and set up manufacturing plants,” added Kumar.
“At present, 80 percent of our income comes from India, but in the next 4-5 years, India and foreign trade are expected to have 50-50 percent share,” Kumar said.
Adverb, founded in 2016 and expected to generate Rs 400 crore during the current financial year, is a 100 percent increase over the previous financial year. Software accounts for 15 percent of our revenue, which is projected to grow significantly.
Robots will be used at warehouses owned by Reliance
Noida-based Addverb had earlier raised around $11 million in Series A and Pre-Series funding led by Jalaj Dani, co-promoter of Asian Paints, making its total funding close to $143 million since its inception in June 2016.
This round of funding will accelerate the company’s expansion in Europe and US and enable it to set up the most extensive robotic manufacturing facility at a single location.
The firm said this manufacturing facility would be completely automated and propel India as a world leader in the robotic sector.
Addverb also plans to start an innovation lab with bases in Europe, the US and India where the best and like-minded brains will come together to solve the complex problems in Human-Robotic collaboration.
“Reliance is scaling up warehouses, they required a dedicated partner. These are massive warehouses for every business segment like grocery, fashion and lifestyle, pharma, general merchandise and furniture,” said Kumar.
“These warehouses require automation, and we think that we will be able to test and implement many of our technologies at scale at some of these warehouses. We are also working very closely for their new business, which is solar and on their petrochemical business,” added Kumar.